For some Disney fans, March 1 means everything, as it marks the long-awaited, highly-anticipated return of what some have deemed a “global phenomenon” after a more than two-year absence.
Every Disney fan has his or her favorite Disney “thing”: a favorite classic film, a favorite live-action movie, a favorite Disney Park, a favorite ride at a favorite Disney Park . . . the list goes on. And when that favorite something disappears, is unavailable, or simply cannot be found, it can turn a fan’s world upside-down. We’re all used to the occasional ride refurbishments and reimagining of attractions, but the coronavirus pandemic propelled us–Disney fans included–into a whirlwind of unprecedented times and unprecedented scenarios–, and at one point, there were very few things the pandemic didn’t affect.
Such is the case with a fan-favorite experience that you can’t find in the parks or amongst the volumes of Disney classic films. That’s because this experience is one that just became available in 2019 and only to a select number of Disney fans–namely, those with a subscription to Disney’s first-ever premier streaming service, Disney+.
When The Walt Disney Company first announced its plans to roll out a streaming platform, fans were excited–no, elated. Finally! There would be one place where Disney fans of all ages could find and watch their favorite films, whether Walt-era classics or PIXAR favorites or . . . but as streaming was in its infancy, it didn’t occur to most that Disney would be in the business of creating series and films solely for the platform on a continual basis.
(Look, I’m just thrilled that I can watch Sleeping Beauty anytime of the day or night–and as many times as I want!)
But when November of 2019 rolled around, it was evident that fans were in for so much more. Disney’s live-action Lady and the Tramp stole hearts from day one, but nothing could have prepared fans for the platform’s most-streamed offering: The Mandalorian.
From the mind of Jon Favreau and showcasing the work of directors like Bryce Dallas Howard, Taika Waititi, Deborah Chow, and Dave Filoni, the series follows Din Djarin, a bounty hunter from Mandalore.
The series begins five years after the storyline in Return of the Jedi (1983) and the fall of the Galactic Empire. The Mandalorian follows Din Djarin, a bounty hunter from Mandalore, who is hired what’s left of the Imperial forces to retrieve “the child” named Grogu, who resembles a youthful Master Yoda. Instead, however, “Mando” finds himself on the run in an effort to protect Grogu. During their journey, they are constantly being pursued by Moff Gideon, a villain who needs Grogu because of the child’s connection to the Jedi Force. Mandalorians are never to remove their helmets, but Din Djarin ends up doing just that and must travel to redeem himself after doing so.
Season 1 of The Mandalorian drew millions of viewers across an audience comprised of lifelong diehard Star Wars fans–as well as those who loved them. And the series had the power to make fans out of those who previously had no interest in the galaxy far, far away. Season 2 had the same effect, but since the end of the second season in December 18, 2020, there’s been no new content. Though fans were told a third season would be released, the coronavirus pandemic rendered filming nearly non-existent. When production resumed, it was evident that Season 3 would be a long time coming.
The wait is over, though, as of March 1, as Epidode One of Season 3 of The Mandalorian is available for streaming. If you’ve never watched it, give it a try! The series, referred to by critics as a “global phenomenon” might just make a Mando fan out of you. (And by the way, you can be a Mandalorian fan and still not be down with the rest of the Star Wars galaxy.)
Stream The Mandalorian now on Disney+. After all, this is the way.